Imagine if your job entailed creating and trying new ice cream flavours on the reg. Wouldn't that be dreamy? For Candace Tierney, Founder of Oat & Mill, this is a reality. As an ice cream enthusiast, I couldn't wait to share this interview because it shed some light on the behind-the-scenes of running a biz that creates a tasty treat (and comfort food!) for so many. I've spent more nights eating ice cream out of the tub while watching "He's Just Not That Into You" than I care to admit. And it's people like Candace who made it possible! In her early 20's, Candace was able to fill a gap in the market by creating a dairy-free, healthier alternative to ice-cream. Oat & Mill products are made from... you guessed it... oats! Now get comfy and get reading.
Name: Candace Tierney
Business Name: Oat & Mill Ltd.
Tell us about your business.
We developed an ice cream alternative made from oats! Oat & Mill creates fun flavours out of their innovative non-dairy solution to ice cream. Starting off as an “oat cream” then churned into an indulgent frozen dessert.
What was the biggest obstacle to building your business and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had many obstacles to date so it is not easy to pick one. I think the most challenging has been developing the product. With over 400 tests in 2 years, I had to push myself to understand concepts I had never learned and create solutions even a few years ago I would not think was possible.
I had to push myself to understand concepts I had never learned and create solutions even a few years ago I would not think was possible.
What motivates you? What are some ways you stay motivated?
My team and my work motivate me. I find motivation comes easily when you’re always working hard towards your goal. Greatness in your work doesn’t come from wanting to be great or finding motivation to do so, rather by wanting to do something and going forward so hard with it that in the process you become great at it.
Greatness in your work doesn’t come from wanting to be great or finding motivation to do so, rather by wanting to do something and going forward so hard with it that in the process you become great at it.
What made you resilient to the fear of failure?
I think you need to enjoy the process of learning and in that do not see failure as something to fear but rather the only path to overcoming limitations. You have to overcome your expectation of how something is supposed to work out, sometimes it will be a certain way and other times it will be different. I try not to attach myself to having things work out a certain way. Some of the greatest discoveries are made in the process of finding a solution to a different problem than you expected.
What is an important lesson you’ve learned through running your own company?
The importance of building a great team and surrounding yourself with a support network in the early stages. This is something that took me years to learn. When you have a team that has differing and unique strengths while working in sync with one another, you can accomplish a lot with limited resources.
When you have a team that has differing and unique strengths while working in sync with one another, you can accomplish a lot with limited resources.
What is the best part about running your own business?
I love to create and discover new solutions in ways that few have thought of before. Oat & Mill has given me the opportunity to create products from the very beginning stage and watch it grow to fruition over time and hard work. It is rewarding to see your efforts in action.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Just keep going!
Describe your daily routine from the moment you wake up.
Every day is different. Some days I wake up and jump on calls/email immediately, other days I venture into testing new flavours or creating new product concepts. Whatever the day requires of me I adapt to.
What’s your favourite day of the week? Why?
Every day is a blur from one to the next. When you’re focused entirely on work it all moves too fast, sometimes too much to even notice a difference from one day to the next.
When you’re focused entirely on work it all moves too fast, sometimes too much to even notice a difference from one day to the next.
What is your go-to pick-me-up?
Music or reading!
What is your spirit animal?
After a quick Google and online test... apparently the whale!
What is your favourite app?
How to choose just one…Shazam, Trello, Audible, PizzaPizza…
Just keep going!
What is a quote you live by?
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” MLK
“We must use time creatively and forever realize that time is always hope to do great things.” MLK
Pro tip: You should follow Oat + Mill on Instagram @oatandmill for your daily dose of mouthwatering photos!